Beginning in 1558, with the invention of the patio process to extract

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Beginning in 1558, with the invention of the patio process to extract

Post by jancancook on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:41 am

Beginning in 1558, with the invention of the patio process to extract silver from ore using mercury, mercury became an essential resource in the economy of Spain and its American colonies. Mercury was used to extract silver from the lucrative mines in New Spain and Peru. Initially, the Spanish Crown's mines in Almaden in Southern Spain supplied all the mercury for the colonies.[27] Mercury deposits were discovered in the New World, and more than 100,000 tons of mercury were mined from the region of Huancavelica, Peru, over the course of three centuries following the discovery of deposits there in 1563. The patio process and later pan amalgamation process continued to create great demand for mercury to treat silver ores until the late 19th century.[28]

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